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Monday, Jul 15, 2013

  

Dishonored DLC Info Tomorrow?

The Bethesda Blog has an image up that looks like a tease for more DLC for Dishonored, Arkane's stealth/action game. We'll know soon enough, as here's what the caption says: "Daud’s journey concludes… more details tomorrow."

Divinity: Dragon Commander Multiplayer Video

This video shows highlights of a recent Twitch livestream showing off multiplayer play in Divinity: Dragon Commander, Larian Studios' upcoming role-playing game. The clip includes head-to-head combat, and is the first video posted so far today featuring jetpack-equipped dragons. Continue here to read the full story.

Europa Universalis IV Video Diary

A new video developer diary from Europa Universalis IV explores the role of exploration in Paradox's upcoming strategy sequel. Also, the Europa Universalis IV Preorders page reveals another preorder bonus, the Purple Phoenix Pack, with two further bonuses to be announced before the game's release on August 13th. Here's word on the new video:

The age of exploration is a crucial turning point in world history, but what if things had gone a little differently? Some of the possibilities that can occur in Europa Universalis IV are discussed by Project Lead Thomas Johansson of Paradox Development Studio, providing players with a preview of the troubles faced by an expanding nation. The promise of new riches and resources may lure your empire overseas, but what happens when your colonists start getting ideas about your relationship? What will you do when religious dissidents start fleeing their homeland and populating your new holdings… and who are these upstarts claiming to be “founding fathers?” Can you crush their notions of independence, or will the colonies rise up and outshine your empire?

Continue here to read the full story.

INSECTION Kickstarter

This Kickstarter looks to raise £280,000 for INSECTION, an objective-based co-op first-person shooter for Windows, OS X, and Linux where up to four players team up to fight off an endless horde of alien insects, something like Left 4 Dead meets Starship Troopers. Developer Glasswing Studio offers some screenshots and proof-of-concept videos, and here's a bit of how the game is described: "In the game you play as one out of 4 ex-marines trying to survive in the Universe. You can play as Dylan or Derek - marines to the bone - or even as a delightful Robot with Dante or a killer female cyborg pilot with Dona. Each character has a unique past and a story that ties them together. This also ties in with another aspect of gameplay: Augmentations. Each character has access to a unique set of augmentations that allow players to change how they play the game."

KOTOR Turns 10

The BioWare Blog announces that today is the tenth anniversary of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the cortically acclaimed role-playing game. They celebrate the occasion with some wallpapers and reminiscences about the project from some of its developers. There's also word about this on the Star Wars: The Old Republic website and they also have a developer blog detailing KOTOR's influence on the MMORPG.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Trucks! Thanks nin. Yup, Russian trucks. Как моя вождения?

F1 2013 Announced

Codemasters announces F1 2013, a new installment in their Formula One racing sim series coming to Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 this autumn, offering a new "F1 Classics" mode that will allow players to "race classic cars on iconic circuits against legendary drivers." We have a big set of screenshots and the official website has a teaser trailer for the classics mode, showing glimpses of autos it offers from way back in the 1980s. A far more rewarding work-in-progress gameplay trailer is out there showing a hot lap on the legendary Nürburgring and then another hot lap on Silverstone. Here's part of the announcement explaining a Classic Edition will be sold alongside the newfangled edition of the game adding jalopies from the 1990s, and that this content will also eventually arrive as DLC:

F1 2013 will feature all the cars, circuits and star drivers from the 2013 season, allowing gamers to race as Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes and Sergio Perez in the McLaren-Mercedes for the first time, and includes all of the new drivers, updated rules, tyre changes and remodelled handling to authentically reflect the challenge and exhilaration of racing 2013’s stunning roster of FORMULA ONE™ cars. A range of game enhancements, split-screen and online multiplayer, plus new and returning game modes delivers the most complete FORMULA ONE experience in videogame history.

F1 2013 gives FORMULA 1™ fans the chance to compete against legendary drivers in cars from different eras of FORMULA ONE with a range of classic content from the 1980s. F1 Classics, introduced by legendary broadcaster Murray Walker, allows players to race iconic 1980s cars from Williams, Lotus and Ferrari against drivers including Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Emerson Fittipaldi and Gerhard Berger, with more to be announced, on classic circuits Brands Hatch and Jerez. Classic content is also available in a range of other game modes, including split-screen and online multiplayer modes.

The premium F1 2013: CLASSIC EDITION delivers even more classic content with two additional content packs featuring content from the 1990s and additional circuits to be enjoyed in F1 Classics and other game modes. The 1990s pack includes classic cars from both Williams and Ferrari and drivers such as David Coulthard, Jacques Villeneuve, Eddie Irvine and Alain Prost and others.

The two packs included in F1 2013: CLASSIC EDITION will also be available as optional DLC for players of F1 2013 shortly after release.

Continue here to read the full story.

Mad Max Trailer

A new trailer from Mad Max offers a look at Avalanche Studios' upcoming game based on the post-apocalyptic road-rage movie series. They call this a gameplay trailer, though most of what's depicted actually looks like pre-rendered cinematics. Continue here to read the full story.

Linux CryENGINE Plans

The Crytek Website reveals that German developer Crytek is looking to hire a Linux programmer to join their team. No need to read between the lines here, as this is introduced saying this is to "work on the Linux version of the 3d engine," and the responsibility they list is to "Maintain Linux support for CryENGINE." Thanks Ant via LinuxGames.

U.K. Sales Charts

The GfK Chart-Track Chart of the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. for the week ending July 13th has a new entry, as Civilization V: Brave New World enters the chart at number two as The Sims 3: Island Paradise retains the number one spot. On the budget-priced PC games chart Aliens Colonial Marines jumps into the top spot. On the all platforms top 40, The Last of Us stays at number one, while Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. enters the chart at number three. Here's their write up:

Not even the dream team of Mario & Luigi can dislodge ‘The Last of Us’ (-43%) from the top spot as it holds on to No1 for a 5th consecutive week.

If it makes it to six consecutive weeks at No1, then it will equal the unbroken runs of ‘Black Ops II’ and ‘FIFA 12’. Nintendo have a dream team of a different kind with their 3DS titles ‘Animal Crossing: New Leaf’ (-26%) and newcomer ‘Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros.’ together at No2 and No3 respectively. ‘FIFA 13’ (-31%) makes way, down one place to No4, while ‘Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition’ (-54%) slips from No2 to No5. ‘Far Cry 3’ (+18%) swaps places with ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ (-25%) as Ubisoft’s top title this week, up from No10 to No6, while Assassin’s Creed III drops from No5 to No8.

‘Black Ops II’ (-16%) looks comfortable at No7 for a second week (3rd add-on pack Vengeance debuted on 360 from July 2nd), while ‘Tomb Raider’ (-24%) clings on at No9. Budget-priced ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’ (+36%) jumps back into the Top 10, up from No22 to No10. Second add-on ‘Civilization V: Brave New World’ debuts at No39 and No2 in the PC Full Price Chart.

Valve's Young Developer Pipeline

A new Pipeline website from Valve details a program being operated by the Bellevue, Washington-based developer to explore video game development possibilities for teenage developers with none of the real-world experience they emphasize when hiring their staff. The site features a video introducing the concept and a FAQ that says the expect to present some of the promised information on the topic "within the next month or so," and offers the following outline of what this is all about:

There are two main reasons that Valve is creating Pipeline. The first is that we are frequently asked questions by teenagers about the videogame industry. "What is it like to work on videogames? What should I study? What colleges are best for preparing me? How do I get a job in videogames?" Pipeline will be a place where those questions can be discussed. The second is that Valve is running an experiment. Traditionally Valve has been a very good place for very experienced videogame developers, and not so good at teaching people straight out of school (the reasons for this and the tradeoffs are covered in the Valve employee handbook). Pipeline is an experiment to see if we can take a group of high school students with minimal work experience and train them in the skills and methods necessary to be successful at a company like Valve.

OZombie Kickstarter Cancelled

A Kickstarter update announces the cancellation of the fundraiser for Spicy Horse's "Oz Action Adventure" that was to be a zombie game set in the merry old land of Oz. The post explains they saw the writing on the wall that the campaign would fail (they had raised a fraction of the $950K they sought), and says they can restart it in the future, but for now they are returning to the idea of securing the film rights to American McGee's Alice:

The Oz campaign has to end. There are two realities driving the decision.

First, we’re facing a challenge with the Alice film rights. Since working to remove it from the Oz campaign we've been unable to launch it as a separate campaign here on Kickstarter – the submission has been rejected multiple times and our appeals have failed (multiple campaigns are not allowed). To launch a campaign for the Alice films rights means we must first shut down the Oz campaign.

Second, we wouldn't consider shutting down the Oz campaign if it were trending towards success. As it is, we've reached 15% of our goal with 20 days left in the campaign. Projections suggest we’ll hit 30% of our goal by campaign end. I've been telling myself to remain optimistic and see this thing through – but when the reality of our funding trend is combined with the pressure of the Alice film rights situation...

For Oz, we can always launch another campaign in the future. On the other hand, the Alice film rights are only within reach during a rapidly closing window of opportunity. We’ll sacrifice Oz today in order to have a real chance with Alice.

For the record, we did also consider (and put work towards) an Alice campaign on IndieGoGo, but decided against this for two main reasons. The first is that we’re concerned about the amount of awareness we can generate on IndieGoGo, since we've never run a campaign there. Here on Kickstarter we have followers (you’re reading this). The other issue is we don’t want to be accused of ‘creating confusion’ or deal with any other negative interpretation that might come out of running two campaigns at the same time.

Spud's Quest Trailer

A new trailer shows off gameplay from Spud's Quest, the recently Kickstarted indie adventure game. The Spud's Quest website says the game is due before the end of next month, and the Kickstarter page states the final beta was recently released for backers a few days ago. Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

The Game Designer - Kickstarter and Feature Creep.
I have supported Kickstarter projects in the past, and I have never had an expectation that the scope of a project would increase if the funding exceeded expectations (unless this is explicitly specified with stretch goals). For me personally, I wouldn't have gotten mad if Double Fine had simply delivered what they promised and "pocketed" the extra money. If they are getting paid accordingly to do what they love, without having to work for a big evil publisher, they will almost certainly make more games. So any "extra" money is just going into those future products.

My logic on this is that the crowd-funding paradigm looks to me an awful like the "pre-ordering" paradigm. You pay ahead of time for a product, in exchange for some positive benefit. In software, this benefit might be a lower price or a bonus game level, or even just the assurance that you will get the game on launch day instead of having to waiting in line. This is the customer/publisher relationship. If a traditional game publisher has more pre-orders than planned, they don't expand their scope accordingly. In fact, the very idea is silly. If EA projects that Madden pre-sales will be 250K and they hit 300K, the development team doesn't run back to the studio and try to squeeze in an extra feature before launch.

Gatherings and Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Hardware Reviews

  • Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Case on Real World Labs.
  • iconBIT NETTAB Space Quad HD NT-0901S Tablet on Mad Shrimps.
  • Kingston Class 10 UHS-I (U1) SDXC Ultimate 64GB Card & MobileLite G3 Card Reader on Technology X.
  • Kingston HyperX Beast 4x8GB DDR3-2400 CL11 1.65V on ocaholic.
  • Mach Xtreme MX-FX 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive on Nikk Tech.
  • MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING Motherboard on pcGameware.
  • NZXT H630 Case on Pure Overclock.
  • Silverstone PP07 Sleeved PSU Extension-Adapter Cables on eTeknix.
  • Sony SBH 20 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset on Testfreaks.
  • Sunrise Ray DA-P1 Headphone amplifier & DAC on techPowerUp.
  • XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition Video Card on HARDOCP.

etc.

Out of the Blue

MrsBlue and I were discussing how much things have changed in our area in the 13-or-so years we've lived here, as we used to have a few days a year that required air conditioning, and this year we'll be lucky if we even have a few that do not (so far we've counted one). I dug up a page to do historical comparisons, and I'll need to go back for a less superficial examination, but one quick comparison bore out my theory. The "average mean" temperature this month is nine degrees hotter than out first July here, and the "minimum mean" is eight degrees hotter. I'll go back at some point to try and determine how much this seems like an actual trend than just a pair of data points (since it seems exaggerated), but it certainly supports our seat-of-the-pants (or better, sweat-of-the-armpits) experience.

Hot Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Icarus Needs.
Stories: The Night James Gandolfini Disappeared.
Images: They said wear something patriotic to work. Challenge accepted.
Sinkholes: When the Earth Opens Up.
Media: Attack on Gaben. Thanks reddit.
I Broke Arma 3.
When US Slams Russia, Press Conference BACKFIRES Big Time.
Follow-up: Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Swedish Professor. Thanks Slashdot.



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